Microwave Getting Hot, Even When It’s Off? Here’s Why

Are you frustrated because your microwave appears to be getting hot even when it is turned off? If so, this can be a frustrating experience. You might be worried that your microwave is overheating, and you might even be concerned this is a safety hazard. Fortunately, there are ways you can address this problem, making sure your microwave is working properly. 

There are a number of reasons why your microwave might be getting hot even when it is turned off. For example, it might be close to another appliance. Or, there may be a part inside the microwave that is overheating. This could also have to do with the food you put inside the microwave, as it could take your microwave a long time to vent. 

Importantly, there is a difference between a microwave that is warm and a microwave that is hot. Regardless, you need to look into what the problem is, so you can make sure your house is not at risk. We have already done a lot of research for you, figuring out why microwaves might be getting hot. Take a look at the results of our research below, and see if you can figure out what is going on with your microwave!

How Hot Should a Microwave Get?

It is not unusual for the exterior of a microwave to get warm. After all, it is generating a lot of heat for your meal. Therefore, you should expect it to get warm when it is in use. You should also expect your microwave to stay warm for a little while after you turn it off. It will take some time to cool down.

If you touch your microwave, it should feel warm; however, you should not flinch. If you touch your microwave and you feel like you have just burned yourself, this is a sign that it is too hot. As a result, you need to figure out what is going on, fixing this.

Why Does Your Microwave Get Hot When Turned Off?

There are several possible reasons why your microwave might be getting hot even when it is turned off. Some of these are relatively straightforward, while other issues might require the attention of a professional. Some of the most common reasons why you might notice your microwave getting hot on the outside include:

#1 You Use Your Microwave Too Often

One of the most obvious reasons why your microwave might be getting hot even when you are not using it is that you are actually using it too often. If your microwave stays in operation continuously for several minutes at a time, it is going to take a long time for it to cool off.

For example, you might be cooking something in the microwave that is better off in the oven. If you cook something in the microwave for a half hour or an hour, your microwave will start to overheat. Therefore, even though your microwave may have shut off about 10 minutes ago, it may still be hot.

Fortunately, this is a relatively easy solution. You should only use your microwave if you are cooking something for a few minutes at a time. If you were going to be cooking something in the microwave for an extended amount of time, you may want to consider using a different heating source. For example, you may want to consider the oven or the stove.

As long as you control the frequency with which you use your microwave, you should not notice it getting that hot. If you notice your microwave heating up significantly, you may need to take a closer look at the internal components.

#2 You Cook Food That Generates a Lot of Steam

Another possible reason why your microwave might be getting hot is that you are cooking food that generates a lot of steam naturally. There are some situations where the microwave can get hot purely because of how you are using it. If the food you are cooking has a lot of moisture in it, all of that moisture has to go somewhere. It is usually released as steam.

A woman shocked by the steam coming out of the microwave
Steam released from food can contribute to the reason why your microwave is getting hot

The steam is hot, and it can be absorbed by the internal components of the microwave. Then, even after you remove the food, it can take a while for the microwave to cool off. If you look at your microwave and you still see steam coming out of it, this is a sign that is probably going to still be hot to the touch. 

Therefore, you should simply stay away from the microwave and give it a chance to cool down. After you see the steam leaves the microwave, it should be cool once again. If you want your microwave to cool off faster, you may want to leave the door open. This can go a long way toward helping you cool off your microwave a bit more quickly. 

#3 The Magnetron Is Overheating

There is a very important component of your microwave called magnetron. This is a specific compound that is responsible for generating the wave that your microwave uses to cook your food. The microwaves are not guided toward your food by the microwave. Instead, the waves bounce off the metal interior of the microwave.

As the metal bounces off the inside of your microwave, some of it will strike your food by chance. This is what causes your food to cook. If your magnetron is overheating, what could be the reason why it feels hot to touch on the outside. 

You need to find a way to cool off your magnetron. The easiest way to do this is to take a break in between meals. If you feel like your microwave is taking too long to cool down, you may need to call a professional to come and take a closer look at your magnetron. The easiest way to get it to cool down is to increase the airflow throughout your microwave. An expert might be able to help you with this issue.

#4 The Microwave Is Staying On Inappropriately

Another possible reason why your microwave is hot to the touch is that it is staying on inappropriately. Even though you may have shut off your microwave, it may still be operating. If that is the case, there could be a button that is stuck, an internal component could be fused, or there might be an issue with the control board.

These are all complicated issues that require the manual. You should open up a manual, take a look at the control board, and see what is going on. One of the easiest ways to fix this issue is to clean the exterior of the microwave. If there is a button that is stuck, you may have to remove the grease to get it to shut off. 

If you need to test one of the internal components of the microwave, you may need to get a multimeter. A multimeter will let you know how much current is flowing through the microwave part, telling you if you have to replace that specific component. 

#5 There Is Not Enough Space

Finally, your microwave might also be feeling hot to the touch because there is not enough space between your microwave and the components around it. In order for your microwave to cool down, the vents have to be open. If the vents are blocked, your microwave is going to have a difficult time cooling down.

Therefore, take a closer look at where your microwave is situated. Take a look at the vents and make sure they have enough space. If your microwave does not have enough space, you may need to remove some of the appliances that are situated close to the microwave. Or, you may need to move the microwave itself.

A microwave in a small space
Microwaves should have enough space to cool down

After the microwave has found a new home, use it to cook a meal. Then, see if it is still hot to the touch. If their microwave is significantly cooler, this is a sign that you have fixed the issue. Your microwave needs to have plenty of space when it operates. If not, it is going to feel hot to the touch. 

Make Sure Your Microwave Does Not Overheat

If you want your microwave to work properly, you have to make sure it does not overheat. The easiest way to do this is to give your microwave a few minutes to cool down in between uses. Even though you might be a bit impatient, you need to give your microwave a rest. If you have to cook something for a long amount of time, then you need to use the oven or the stove. It is not appropriate for the microwave.

In addition, you also need to clean your microwave regularly. Food residue can get stuck throughout the microwave, causing the internal components to malfunction. This could even be the reason why your microwave is overheating. Ensure the vents are not blocked, and your microwave should be able to cool off appropriately.

Use Your Microwave Appropriately

These are a few of the most important points you need to keep in mind if you think your microwave is too hot. Even though your microwave should feel warm, it should not cause pain. If you have to flinch and recoil when you touch the microwave, this is a sign that there is a significant problem that has to be addressed. 

There are a lot of reasons why your microwave may be getting hot, and you need to go through them systematically. You may want to start by cleaning your microwave and making sure the air vents have plenty of space to cool off. 

If you have gone through all the reasons above and your microwave is still too hot, you should reach out to a professional who can help you figure out what is happening. There is a chance that you might have to replace the microwave, but you may want to have a professional take a closer look at the appliance first.